I was pleased to see that Sen. Kerry has decided to hold hearings on Afghanistan in the late summer or early fall. We are in the middle of a pivotal summer in Afghanistan with the US troop surge taking place in the build up to to critical Afghan Presidential elections in August. I am currently trying to dig into different aspects of the Afghanistan situation including getting a better sense of the relationship between drugs, corruption and the Taliban. As part of that process I have just finished reading a terrific book by Gretchen Peters, journalist and friend of Ahmed Rashid, titled Seeds of Terror. Peters, who I have not met, makes a strong case that the drug trade is the key to the resurgence of the Taliban. I would like to see Sen. Kerry invite her, along with other smart regional experts like Ahmed Rashid, to ensure that the debate at the SFRC hearing is as wide ranging as possible.
Are there other experts, with recent on the ground South Asia experience, who you think would add to such a hearing?